GOP looks for path forward on energy bill amendments

GOP looks for path forward on energy bill amendments
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Senators have filed nearly 200 amendments to the energy policy rewrite bill currently being considered on the Senate floor, and GOP leaders say they are “redoubling” their efforts to work through the list this week. 

Lawmakers approved 11 amendments to the bill last week, and  Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSessions torched by lawmakers for marijuana move Calif. Republican attacks Sessions over marijuana policy Trump's executive order on minerals will boost national defense MORE (R-Alaska), a bill cosponsor and the chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Monday that members should expect many other amendments to hit the floor this week. 

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“Eleven is a good number, but honestly I had hoped that we would have been able to process more amendments last week,” she said in a floor speech. “I want to move forward and process even more over these next couple days.”

Senators last week accepted amendments related to nuclear energy research, funding for advanced energy and a report on crude oil exports, among other things. 

Many of the amendments brought to the floor last week won broad bipartisan support, but there are high-profile and potentially contentious measures still in the hopper. 

A group of Democrats, led by Michigan’s senators, hopes to attach a $600 million aid package for Flint, Mich. to the bill. California’s two senators last week introduced an amendment calling for a formal federal response to a methane leak at a natural gas storage facility in the state. Others have introduced partisan amendments that could potentially divide the chamber.

Murkowski said she and her staff — and that of Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellSenate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump Overnight Energy: Senate close to approving Arctic drilling | EPA cancels controversial media tracking contract | Trump officials sound alarm on mineral imports Lawmakers introduce bipartisan AI legislation MORE (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the energy panel and a bill co-sponsor — are working through the amendment backlog to figure out which will get votes this week. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit MORE (R-Ky.) encouraged members to try keeping the legislation as bipartisan as possible. 

“Talk to the senator from Alaska and Washington and get your amendments dealt with,” he said on Monday.

“This is bipartisan legislation that provides a common-sense approach to help Americans produce more energy, pay less for energy and save energy, all without raising taxes or adding to deficit. Let’s keep working to move this process forward. Let’s keep working to pass this bipartisan bill.